Technology

Feeling the Web

A short and simple article on haptic technology - hardware and software that endow digital objects with tactile qualities:

Although scientists are still far from simulating the feel of corduroy or velvet on the computer screen, haptics have made mainstream inroads in the past year. In August 2000, Logitech unveiled the iFeel Mouse and the iFeel MouseMan--the first mainstream mice to transmit vibrations when a person scrolls over a hypertext link on a Web page or passes the cursor over a pull-down menu . . .\"Touch is part of the trinity of the user experience of sight, sound and touch,\" said Bruce Schena, chief technical officer of Immersion. \"Several years from now, we\'ll think of the sense of touch as integral to the computer experience--the same way we think of sight and sound now.\"

More from CNET, with thanks to Slashdot.

The Future of Digital Scientific Literature

A heavily hypertexted article that argues for \"experimentation and a lack of dogmatism\" as scientific publishing undergoes a sea change:

\"The Internet is easier to invent than to predict\" is a maxim that time has proven to be a truism. Much the same might be said of scientific publishing on the Internet, the history of which is littered with failed predictions. Technological advance itself will, of course, bring dramatic changes — and it is a safe bet that bright software minds will punctually overturn any vision. But it is becoming clear that developing common standards will be critical in determining both the speed and extent of progress towards a scientific web . . .

More from Nature, with thanks to the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog.

It Scans, It Formats, It Translates, but Can It Do This...?

There\'s a new version of software that will read scanned documents and convert the text into a format that you can edit. It also will recognize up to 114 languages. While it\'s doing all that, it\'ll even proof itself to make sure it captured every character from the original. Then, if you want it to, it\'ll read everything back to you, in one of 14 languages, over your computer\'s speakers. While that\'s all well and good, I\'m still waiting for the software program that will do the dishes, fix dinner, change diapers, put the laundry away, scoop out the litterbox, sort the trash, and walk the dog. more...

Picture Ebooks Receive Interest from Librarians

From ContentBiz...

\"ipicturebooks, Time Warner-funded publishers of eBooks for children, have found the going is tough. Although the Company\'s \'Shrek Activity eBook\' was the #1 bestselling eBook at Amazon in June, Jim Kirchman, VP Marketing admits that the title only sold \"hundreds of copies.\" However he feels the eBook marketplace is still too embryonic to judge success by sales figures. Although ipicturebooks initially targeted the consumer marketplace, they\'ve received substantially more interest from teachers and school librarians.\" more...

Museum Stocks Web with History

For Federal Computer Week, BJ Ramos writes...

\"With more than 3 million artifacts and a mere 750,000 square feet of exhibit space, the National Museum of American History turned to the Web and partnered with an online investment site to share more of its collection with the public. The result, being unveiled today in Washington, D.C., is HistoryWired billed as a virtual tour of a few of the museum’s favorite things. The 450 initial offerings, selected by museum curators, include famous, unusual and everyday items.\" more...

Reference Books Nearing Extinction

Jackie Bourdelaine writes \"According to this one at the San Francisco Chronicle, \"space-hogging reference tomes are obsolete.\" Links to replace some of those useless reference books are even included, along with some reviews. \"

They say LibrarySpot is the place to go for answers.

Public Internet Stations Wide Open to Hackers

For the Chicago Sun Times, Ian Hopper writes...

\"Travelers eager to plug their laptops into wireless Internet networks cropping up at hotels, airports and coffee shops need to be on guard: Their e-mail and Web browsing can be easily intercepted.\" more...

Is Distributed Computing a Crime?

For ZDNet News, Lisa Bowman writes...

\"David McOwen is losing a lot of sleep these days over his decision to participate in a distributed computing project two years ago. The former computer administrator at DeKalb Technical College in Georgia found out recently that he could face up to 30 years in jail and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars because he installed some distributed computing software on the school\'s computers.\"
more...

60 Gadgets in 60 Minutes

From the Law Library Resource Exchange, Roger Skalback writes...

\"In today\'s world, technology gadgets are everywhere: the workplace, home, stores, churches, schools and government. Gadgets can make our lives easier, or as others have said, give us anxiety of gadget overload. At a panel presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries, four speakers picked their favorite gadgets to share with attending librarians and information managers. Granted, as time goes by, some of these gadgets will be outdated but still usable, just the same as gadgets in a kitchen. For the panel presentation, four people were asked to each select fifteen gadgets to display and discuss. Each speaker had one minute to display a specific gadget, highlighting aspects of each gadget that could be useful in a legal or library setting. The members of this panel presentation were as follows:\" Check it out.

Search Engines and Editorial Integrity

More on the growing trend toward search engines ranking query results based on payments made by advertisors:

Many of us in the new media industry have watched in despair during the past few months as several major search engines have abandoned all pretense at editorial integrity by adopting deceptive, misleading advertising practices at the expense of their users.Finally, someone has stood up and said, Enough is enough. And now it\'s time for the rest of us to join the battle as well. (More from the Online Journalism Review.)

Thanks to the always valuable Wood s Lot.

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